Tuesday was one of the final days of principal photography on Austin writer/director/performing arts polymath Owen Egerton’s debut feature, “Follow,” and Egerton wanted to knock out a wall.
“Can we do that?” Egerton said to the small group of people around him. First assistant director Drew Saplin makes a phone call to check.
The request was not as insane as it sounds. Much of “Follow” takes place in a soon-to-be-demolished house on Palma Plaza. Very soon, in fact.
“I think as soon as we are done, they start tearing it down,” Egerton said as we walked around the murdery-looking, beyond-minimally furnished house that does indeed look about a day away from destruction.
One bare room is given over to costumes and makeup, while a camera and lights are set up in a room with a dirty, blood-stained mattress. A rubber gun is produced while Egerton and some grips discuss lighting the shot.
Cast and crew number only about 20, at least on the final day, but those milling about in the hallway have to duck into an unused room when someone comes through with a piece of equipment or a large prop.
Executive-produced by Tim League and starring Noah Segan, Southern Longoria and Don “Happy Days” Most, “Follow” is a psychological thriller/horror movie.
Egerton cannibalized two of his old short stories, “Christmas” and “Tonight at Noon” — both from his 2007 collection, “How Best to Avoid Dying” — to write the screenplay for “Follow,” which began its on-screen life as a short film in 2013.
“Putting this movie together took me right back to the old Bouldin Creek coffeehouse and now I get to see those characters come to life,” he says.
Egerton freely admits he lucked out on the house. “I needed a house with a basement, which is almost impossible to find in Austin,” he says, leading me down the steep stairs to the said basement. “And I wanted one with what I call ‘Austin gothic’ — the hardwood floors, the crumble walls. This place was perfect.”
Turns out they don’t actually need to tear down the wall; perhaps Egerton just wanted to see if they could.